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Castaic Library to double in size

Posted: June 20, 2012 8:59 a.m.
Updated: June 20, 2012 8:59 a.m.

Siblings Hannah, 7, left, and Joshua Vitor, 10, play chess in the teen area of the Castaic Public Library on Tuesday.

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Castaic residents will see their library double in size after Los Angeles County supervisors approved a $3.59 million expansion project on Tuesday.

Library patrons told about the expansion's approval Tuesday seemed happy about the prospect, with many saying they visited the library at least once a week.

"I think we should expand the library," said 10-year-old Castaic resident Joshua Vitor on Tuesday afternoon. "I feel like that because we come here on every Tuesday."

Another Castaic resident said he thinks the library has updated materials compared to other libraries and he's pleased to see more.

"It saves us time going to Valencia," said Bill Velasco, who said he goes to the library about three times a week.

Under the proposal, the existing 6,985-square-foot library will have an additional 5,247 square feet of space added, along with new books, materials, furniture, fixtures, equipment, telephones and data systems, according to a report prepared by the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office.

The library at 27971 Sloan Canyon Road will total 12,232 square feet when construction is completed, according to the report.

Although the cost of the expansion totals $3.59 million - with a large portion of that used for the lease with Castaic FCG Properties - the county also has the option to purchase the property for an additional $2.35 million after the improvements are completed, said Lori Glasgow, deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, in an interview last week.

The new area will add a community room, study areas and reading areas to the library, Glasgow said.

The expansion will be funded with $1.87 million from the public library's developer fee budget and the transfer of $2.14 million in net county cost from Stevenson Ranch Library, according to the report.

The county is still planning to build a library in Stevenson Ranch, despite its plans to expand the Castaic Library, said Tony Bell, spokesman for Antonovich, in an interview last week.

The county expects to have construction completed by next spring for the grand opening of the expanded Castaic Library, Glasgow said.

One Castaic resident said the library is essential for her homebound mother. Alison Levy says three generations of her family use the library.

"I think this is a lifeline to the community," Levy said as she collected a large number of books for her mother to read Tuesday. "I don't know what I'd do without the library."





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